Years ago our industry’s analysts predicted the “paperless office” that was to come with the advent of the digital age, bringing with it the demise of print. Now, decades later, I see a glass that’s half full thanks to industry trends – in growth areas such as industrial and specialty, with a growing high speed inkjet digital color press market projected to grow an astounding 38 percent by 2020 — which we’re well-positioned to take advantage of with our new AccurioJet KM-1 high speed cut sheet UV inkjet press.
The world’s first 29.5 x 23” digital inkjet sheet-fed press, the AccurioJet KM-1 enables Konica Minolta to now be a major player in the commercial print/light packaging arena, taking on top competitors with advantages like supporting 6-up letter (B2) size sheets and up to 3,000 sheets-per-hour print speed, significantly increasing a print shop’s productivity time. While we’ve played in this particular area of the market, we’re doing so by combining new technologies developed by Konica Minolta using our 40 years of inkjet development in the print head component and textile businesses, along with toner based cut-sheet print production experience. For instance, the AccurioJet KM-1 features the latest high-performance inkjet print heads and a new UV-cured technology that dries almost instantly, minimizing any effect of media curling or waving from the drying process. The KM-1 is just one of Konica Minolta’s numerous large format printers.
The digital age that was to negatively impact our industry has actually created new opportunities for us and our customers. For instance, the AccurioJet KM-1’s digital inkjet technology allows it to produce outstanding image quality that rivals offset color quality. It also gives it the ability to support variable data for projects like direct mail and coupons, personalizing them as you would with a mail merge of addresses. And by supporting a wide range of media – including coated and uncoated stock – the KM-1 allows our print shop customers to expand their services and customer base to create such attractive items as pocket folders, multi-panel brochures, posters, book covers and folding cartons.
This can all be done because we’re wisely leveraging our current technology expertise — again, derived from more than four decades of experience — in order to enter exciting new, growing markets. And quite honestly, I can’t think of a better way to create a bright future for our industry than with a strategy that produces fresh solutions like the AccurioJet KM-1!